Lexus ES300 Problem

I have a 2001 Lexus ES300 with approximately 55,000 miles on it that quit running the other day. My wife drives the car and the other day while she was out, it would not start when she got back in after a short stop. The only way it would continue to run was for her to hold the gas pedal all the way to the floor. She had it towed to our local mechanic and as fate would have it, after it was taken off the tow truck it started right up and ran just fine. The mechanic at the garage hooked his test equipment to it but found no sensor issues. They kept it overnight but could not duplicate the problem the next day. I contacted the closest Lexus dealer (2 hours away) but they could not guarantee that their test equipment would be able to pinpoint the problem sensor. Has anyone else had this particular problem on a Lexus 300? I can see having to spend lots of money to replace various sensors in hopes that the right one might be found. Looking for suggestions. Thanks.

Any CEL (Check Engine Light)? If so get codes pulled and post them here and someone should be able to help you. You can get these codes free at several of the diffrent auto parts stores.

If no code them you may have to drive it untill the problem reoccurs then have someone diagnose your problem.

I suspect that you have a bad connection somewheres on a sensor.

Sorry for not being able to help much on this problem.

Why drive 2 hours to a Lexus dealer? That car is mechanically identical to a V-6 Camry, so any Toyota dealer would be able to work on it just as well as the Lexus dealer, albeit with a lower cost and probably without driving as far.

No CEL showing and no codes on test equipment. It happened again and my wife was able to get it cranked by stepping down on the gas pedal as she cranked it. It then ran okay. She took it to the local Toyota dealer to have it checked but they were not much help either - said it could be the computer ($1,600 +/-) or something else. Original mechanic (1) cleaned the throttle body and (2) idle speed motor contacts to no avail.

Does it start evertime you hold the accelerator to the floor and crank it over? If so I suspect that it may be your temp sensor for the ECM if you have two of them. It’s going bad and it’s telling the ECM that it’s alot colder then it actually is. You might have this tested before you replace it. This is a WAG.

Just wild guessing here a bit, but I’m leaning towards a failing fuel pump. A fuel pump can sometimes just quit and stay that way and sometimes they can be an off again/on again affair. They may work fine for a day, week or month, and then screw up. A few minutes of cool-off time and then they resort to working again.
The mileage is a bit low for a fuel pump failure but then again, a partially clogged fuel filter can kill a pump.

One thing I would do is check the amperage draw of the fuel pump while the car is running ok. If the pump is on the way out or struggling against a clogged fuel filter it should have an abnormally high current draw.
Testing for fuel pressure when it will not start is also something to consider.

I also agree about just having a Toyota dealer look at. There is going to be a huge commonality of parts and service procedures and a Toyota tech should have no problem with this.